Rich Perry

STRENGTH & FOCUS: The company we keep

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How important is the company we keep?

How influential is the company we keep?

Does our company consist of positive, motivated, encouraging, and supportive individuals, or mostly the opposite?

Let’s consider this simple statement:

“At least I’m not the only one…”

How many times have we heard this before?

How many times have we used this, possibly as a crutch or as a cheap reassurance, to excuse something that we may not normally approve of, or are disappointed with in terms of a situational outcome?

Are we, in turn, teaching ourselves to accept disappointment simply because others near us have also had similar results?

What if we use this simple phrase repeatedly, so that by accepting and excusing disappointment we then begin to expect disappointment?

What if those people closest to us also use this statement on a regular basis?

Does this acceptance, excusing, and expectation of disappointment begin to make its way around a group of people, like the time popular game “Hot Potato,” with each person looking forward to catching the burning bundle of misfortune, only to pass it off to the next person in line and then eagerly await the come around?

We’ve all heard the old saying, “Misery loves company.”

I’m beginning to think that the two quotes are related and they grab hold like that random person who shows up at the party, never having anything positive to say but still feeling the need to talk to everyone and rant on and on about their twisted worldly views.

Is there sound reasoning behind the explanation, “Well, I vented to my buddy yesterday, so now today I’ll listen to my buddy vent because we’re friends and that’s what friends do,” and at what stage does venting become complaining? Sure, venting can be helpful to simply clear the air or to consider things from a new perspective, but if we are venting about every little thing and, in turn, listening to our closest companions vent about all their mundane woes, then around and around it goes, like playing Hot Potato.

I think being sympathetic or empathetic to a friend’s troubles should definitely stop at a certain point. Now, I’m not saying to be apathetic when a friend is in need of a caring listener and sage advice, but be mindful after the friendly therapeutic session so as not to take that burden onto your own back and especially be careful not to accept those negative emotions, leading to a jaded worldview based on someone else’s troubles.

What do you think? What are your thoughts on the statements made and the many questions asked? These are simply my thoughts and ideas based on my own observations and experience. You may or may not agree with me, but if I’ve made you think or maybe even rethink, then I’ve done what I set out to do.

How we lead our lives is by our own choosing. We can control our behaviors. We can choose to act in certain ways. We can choose to accept specific ideas and beliefs. We can choose to make the decisions that best serve our interests and complement our lives. We can choose to be happy, healthy, and enjoy the fruits of our labor to the fullest extent of our own individual desire. We can choose to manifest the greatest of dreams and turn them into the most amazing reality. And, we can choose to surround ourselves with other like-minded and wonderful people.

The point that I’m trying to make is for you, the reader, to be aware of the company you keep. Make sure those closest to you are equally positive and you are encouraging each other to be better each and every day. True friends and family encourage the other members to excel in life and achieve excellence. Think of it like this – if you chose to host a covered dish picnic and you invited all the people that are special in your life, what would each of those people bring to the picnic? What would you bring?

Surround yourself with amazing people and your picnic will be one of delightful feasting and magnificent company.

Photo by Keith Perks/1120 Studios

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